COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WTVF) — Dramatic video released by the Columbia Police Department shows what first responders encountered at a fire Monday morning.
Police Officer Steven Schmidt is shown arriving to a fully engulfed Columbia Meadows Apartments on Brannon Court at 12:17 a.m. He grabs a fire extinguisher before running toward the burning building.
"Dispatch, I do still have people inside," Officer Steven Schmidt is heard saying on his radio.
Officer Schmidt then breaks a window and climbs into a first-floor apartment. Inside he rescues several people and one dog.
"I'm going to help you out the best I can," Schmidt can be heard saying to a woman in the apartment.
Residents said they heard the commotion.
"I woke up to screaming and yelling, people crying," said Corey Walker. "One lady was screaming 'help me! Help me! And a couple people were running beating on windows."
Corey Walker pulled his mother and dog to safety as the fire burned out of control a few doors down. He said the first responders acted heroically.
"It was very strategic. It wasn't nobody just rushing and everybody gaggled everywhere. It was very organized," Walker said.
In the end, three people were transported to the hospital. Columbia Fire & Rescue is investigating the cause of the fire.